Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Just under three hours from Yakima, the City of Wenatchee offers a great day trip or weekend adventure. The route to Wenatchee is scenic whether you get there via Blewett Pass or through Quincy. Once there Wenatchee offers things to do for all ages. There are wonderful trails along the river, a bustling downtown filled with vintage shops, an indoor public market, breweries and wineries, several museums and a performing arts center.
Wenatchee’s geography was shaped by the last ice age. Originally inhabited by the Wenatchi Indians, the City formed when the Northern Pacific Railroad came through. Farming took hold in the area and by the early 1900s Wenatchee had became one of the largest apple production areas in the world. Today, the Wenatchee area is the largest sweet cherry shipper in the world and is home to the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival.
Here are some recommendations if you visit Wenatchee: Start your day at Caffé Mela, Wenatchee’s very own Artesian Coffee Roasting Company. Hit the Apple Capital Loop trail making sure to detour through the Horan Wildlife Preserve for some prime birding. Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by the Pybus Public Market. The market was once an old steel mill but has now been retrofitted to house small burgeoning businesses. Downtown shopping is just a stone throw away, or stop by the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center and see tools dating over 11,000 years in age!
Of course, Wenatchee is kind of like a ‘choose your own adventure book’, except there really isn’t a wrong page to turn to…what will you pick?
Distance from Yakima Valley: about 3 hours one way
What to bring: A sense of adventure
Who should go: the whole family!
Cost: varies, but many free activities are available
When: year round
More info: Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce